Teaching as a Profession – Character Strengths

This week in our Teaching as a Profession class, we discussed character strengths. We watched this video called “The Science of Character” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U3nT2KDAGOc) and completed this character strengths survey (https://www.viacharacter.org/survey/account/register). We all really enjoyed getting our results and talking about what was and wasn’t surprising.  We discussed how our character strengths align with what we believe to be or classroom/teacher/Director strengths. If you have a few spare minutes, take the survey to see what your own character strengths are and what you might be able to improve upon. It’s a lot of fun!

Our top character strengths are:

Forgiveness: Forgiving those who have done wrong; accepting others’ shortcomings; giving people a second chance; not being vengeful.

Fairness: Treating all people the same according to notions of fairness and justice; not letting feelings bias decisions about others; giving everyone a fair chance.

Curiosity: Taking an interest in ongoing experience for its own sake; finding subjects and topics fascinating; exploring and discovering.

Social Intelligence: Being aware of the motives/feeling of other and oneself; knowing what to do to fit into different social situations; knowing what makes other people tick.

Gratitude: Being aware of and thankful for the good things that happen; taking time to express thanks.

Honesty: Speaking the truth but more broadly presenting oneself in a genuine way and acting in a sincere way; being without pretense; taking responsibility for one’s feelings and actions.

Bravery: Not shrinking from threat, challenge, difficulty, or pain; speaking up for what’s right even if there’s opposition; acting on convictions even if unpopular; includes physical bravery but not limited to it.

Judgement: Thinking things through and examining them from all sides; not jumping to conclusions; being able to change one’s mind in light of evidence; weighing all evidence fairly.

Also this week, we reflected upon the following:

-Who is someone you admire professionally and why?

-If you can be a better version of yourself as a teaching professional, how do you want to be?

-What aspects of character do you want to learn, practice, and/or cultivate?

I think that after this discussion, we saw how each of our differing top character strengths really come together to form a strong team. We all bring something unique to the learning environment and see that each of these strengths are also being cultivated in the children. It’s important to recognize both our strengths and weaknesses and to find ways to cultivate them all.